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A Fight With My Wife

by Jon

We just got back from the bar. We had a wonderful time with friends, and my wife started talking about an issue she's been dealing with for most of her life and is confused about it. I am normally interested and concerned with her feelings, but the night we came home from the bar, I was pretty intoxicated and unable to be a good listener or in the position to "be there" for her.

I expressed my thoughts and feelings to her by saying "I'm not able to discuss this situation because I'm really drunk and ready to pass out, can we talk about this tomorrow?" She got upset because I wasn't being there for her, and that I didn't care. and kept going on and on about it. I started to get frustrated and at that point I started saying some things about her issue and I guess I started picking at her about her situation and those involved in it.

So things got heated and I was laying on the couch ready to pass out and she was so upset about me not listening and with the things that I was saying that she took water and through it on my face. At that point I had lost all control and lashed out at her. And things got physical.

I feel terrible about what happened and this isn't the first time that I had reacted like this. We've been together for 5 yrs and have a child together, so divorce is something that we don't want, but because of the violence my wife is considering it. It's been a while since I've had an outburst like this, but the physical violence seems to get worse and worse.

Now I'm worried that one day I will explode and really hurt her. I don't want to harm my wife in any way. I love her very much and I feel that I am going to potentially ruin my marriage. I know that no matter the situation I should be able to control myself. Even if she is picking at me, as soon as I react with violence it is automatically my fault.

I also am in a very important career and if this got out. I would lose my job, go to jail, and completely ruin all and on top of everything, I would ultimately lose my wife and child.

I am scared of this happening and I am scared of losing my family. What can I do?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Jon, and thanks for telling your story here. I really get how important this is to you, and how much is at stake in your situation. You have a lot, so you have a lot to lose.

First, I want you to consider that alcohol was a player in this scenario. If it's not clear to you that you are in (at least) the early stages of alcoholism, then read this article on the early warning signs of alcoholism.

If you don't address your drinking problem, any progress you make with anger management will be temporary at best. I cannot overemphasize this. You can do a lot of great work with your anger control, then drink to excess one time, and all of your control is gone. I've seen this happen thousands of times.

That said, the advice I have for you is best found on these page: How to deal with abusive relationships.

As far as online help is concerned, this is all the guidance you need, Jon. However, you may need more.

I strongly encourage you to consider counseling or one of our anger management programs.

If this is as important to you as you indicate here, Jon, you will be willing to invest some time, energy and money in your recovery and healing. You marriage, your family, and your career are worth it.

And you are worth it. Believe in yourself, and create a healthy, good life for yourself.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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